Kenneth Tucker

...a hermit iconoclast

Amazon flying warehouse

Aerial fulfillment center ("AFC")

interesting concept, January 3, 2017

Described is an airborne fulfillment center ("AFC") and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles ("UAV") to deliver items from the AFC to users. For example, the AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (e.g., 45,000 feet) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user designated delivery locations. As the UAVs descend, they can navigate horizontally toward a user specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent. Shuttles (smaller airships) may be used to replenish the AFC with inventory, UAVs, supplies, fuel, etc. Likewise, the shuttles may be utilized to transport workers to and from the AFC.

Amazon's patent claimes: A computer implemented method, comprising: under control of one or more computing systems configured with executable instructions; receiving an order for an item from a user located in a metropolitan area, wherein the item is maintained in an inventory of an aerial fulfillment center ("AFC") that is airborne at an altitude; instructing an unmanned aerial vehicle ("UAV") located in the AFC to engage the item; instructing the UAV to depart the AFC; and instructing the UAV to navigate to a delivery location within the metropolitan area and disengage the item at the delivery location...